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Publication numberUS5511987 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/272,610
Publication dateApr 30, 1996
Filing dateJul 11, 1994
Priority dateJul 14, 1993
Fee statusLapsed
Publication number08272610, 272610, US 5511987 A, US 5511987A, US-A-5511987, US5511987 A, US5511987A
InventorsAkira Shinchi
Original AssigneeYazaki Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Waterproof electrical connector
US 5511987 A
Abstract
There is provided a waterproof electrical connector including a male connector housing and a female connector housing for connection with the male connector housing. A hood portion is provided on one of the male connector housing and the female connector housing. A packing within the hood portion provides a waterproof seal for the connector. A packing press ring presses against and retains the packing within the hood portion. Vent hole portions are provided on a portion of the packing press ring that is abutted against the packing. During connection of the male connector housing with the female connector housing, compressed air exits via the vent hole portions. Thereby, an impingement sound or a touch feeling is strongly produced so that, during assembly, an operator easily detects whether the connector housings are in a fitted condition or a non-fitted condition.
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Claims(4)
What is claimed is:
1. A waterproof electrical connector comprising:
a male connector housing;
a female connector housing for connection with the male connector housing;
a hood portion provided on one of the male connector housing and the female connector housing;
a packing within the hood portion to provide a waterproof seal for the connector;
a packing press ring pressing against and retaining the packing within the hood portion; and
vent hole portions provided on a portion of the packing press ring that is abutted against the packing, wherein during connection of the male connector housing with the female connector housing, compressed air exits via the vent hole portions.
2. The waterproof electrical connector according to claim 1, wherein the compressed air exits via a gap between an inner surface of the hood portion and an outer surface of the packing press ring.
3. The waterproof electrical connector according to claim 1, wherein during connection of the male connector housing with the female connector housing, an impingement sound is produced.
4. The waterproof electrical connector according to claim 1, further including:
male electrical terminals within the female connector housing; and
female electrical terminals within the male connector housing for connection with the male electrical terminals.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a waterproof connector. More particularly, the present invention relates to a waterproof electrical connector in which, during connection of the male and female connector housings, compressed air exits and an impingement sound or touch feeling is produced.

2. Discussion of the Related Art

One conventional electrical connector includes a bolt for supplying the tightening force to connect female and male connector housings together. A second conventional waterproof electrical connector includes a lever, as shown in FIGS. 5 through 8. This conventional connector includes a male connector housing c1 having a pair of female terminals a, and a female connector housing c2 having a pair of male terminals b. The female connector housing c2 has a hood portion d for receiving the male connector housing c1. A packing e is fitted in the hood portion d. A packing press ring f of a substantially tubular shape is pressed at its one end against the packing e. The packing e is intimately fitted against an outer peripheral surface q of the male connector housing c1 to achieve a waterproof connection.

This conventional lever type waterproof connector further includes a pivotally-movable lever R mounted on the female connector housing c2, as shown in FIG. 8. The male connector housing c1 has pins i to engage cam grooves formed in the lever R.

In either type of conventional electrical connector, whether the connector housings c1 and c2 are in a fitted condition, a non-fitted condition, or a provisionally-fitted condition can be detected through an impingement sound or a touch feeling produced when the connector housings c1 and c2 are fitted together. Thus, an operator on a production line can detect the complete connection of the connector housings.

In the conventional waterproof electrical connector as shown in FIGS. 5 to 8, the waterproof effect is achieved by the packing e pressed and retained by the packing press ring f within the hood portion d. The impingement sound or touch feeling produced when the connector housings c1 and c2 are fitted together is weakened by a cushioning effect due to an elastic force of the packing e produced when the connector housings are fitted together.

Also, the interior of the waterproof electrical connector must be sealed for waterproof purposes when the pair of connector housings c1 and c2 are fitted together. Therefore, the air within the connector housings c1 and c2 is compressed during the fitting operation. The compression resists the fitting force, requiring additional time and fitting force to connect the connector housings c1 and c2 together. The impingement sound is further weakened by this compressive force.

Therefore, due to the cushioning effect produced by the packing e and the compressive force during connection, an operator has difficulty determining whether the connector housings c1 and c2 are completely connected. Often, incomplete, erroneous connections occur.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made in view of the above circumstances and has as an object to provide a waterproof electrical connector in which a strong impingement sound or touch feeling is produced when female and male connector housings are fitted together. Accordingly, during an assembling operation, an operator can easily and positively know whether the connector housings are in a completely connected condition.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objects and advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by means of the instrumentalities and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

To achieve the objects and in accordance with the purpose of the invention, as embodied and broadly described herein, the waterproof electrical connector of this invention comprises a male connector housing and a female connector housing for connection with the male connector housing. A hood portion is provided on one of the male connector housing and the female connector housing. A packing within the hood portion provides a waterproof seal for the connector. A packing press ring presses against and retains the packing within the hood portion. Vent hole portions are provided on a portion of the packing press ring that is abutted against the packing. During connection of the male connector housing with the female connector housing, compressed air exits via the vent hole portions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the objects, advantages and principles of the invention. In the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of one embodiment of a waterproof electrical connector according to the present invention showing a pair of connector housings in a non-fitted condition;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the waterproof electrical connector of FIG. 1 showing the pair of connector housings in a fitted condition;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the female connector housing of the waterproof electrical connector of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the female connector housing shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of a conventional waterproof electrical connector showing a pair of connector housings in a non-fitted condition;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the conventional connector of FIG. 5 showing the connector housings in a fitted condition;

FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of the female connector housing of the conventional waterproof electrical connector of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the female connector housing shown in FIG. 7 in its assembled condition.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

The waterproof electrical connector according to the present invention includes a pair of connector housings with male and female electrical terminals to be fitted together. One connector housing has a hood portion for receiving the other connector housing. A packing fitted in the hood portion is pressed by one end of a packing press ring and is adapted to intimately fit on an outer peripheral surface of the other connector housing. The packing provides a waterproof seal for the electrical connection within the connector.

Vent hole portions for compressed air relief are formed in a portion of the packing press ring abutted against the packing. Therefore, when the connector housings are fitted together, the air within the two connector housings is discharged to the exterior through the vent hole portions. Thereby, the compressive force attendant during connection of conventional electrical connectors is limited and the fitting of the connector housings can be rapidly performed and positively detected as an impingement sound is sufficiently produced.

An embodiment of the waterproof electrical connector according to the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 4. The connector includes a male connector housing 1 having female electrical terminals 2 provided therein. A female connector housing 3 has male electrical terminals 4 provided therein.

For connecting the male and female connector housings 1 and 3 together, the female connector housing 3 has at its front a hood portion 3a of a larger diameter than the connector housings. The hood portion 3a has an opening 3b therein for receiving the male connector housing 1. A generally annular packing 5, as most clearly shown in FIG. 4, is mounted in the opening 3b. The packing 5 is pressed and retained against the hood portion 3a by one end of a generally tubular packing press ring 6. The packing 5 intimately fits on an outer peripheral surface 1a of the male connector housing 1, thereby achieving a waterproof seal.

The waterproof electrical connector as embodied herein further includes seal plugs 7 and 7' of a generally annular shape, and wires 8 and 8' connected to the female electrical terminals 2 within the male connector housing 1. The seal plugs provide a watertight seal for the female electrical terminals 2 in the connector housing 1.

Similarly, the female connector housing includes seal plugs 9 and 9' and wires 10 and 10'. The wires 10 and 10' are connected to the male electrical terminals 4 within the female connector housing 3. Seal plugs 9 and 9' provide a watertight seal for the male electrical terminals 4 within the connector housing 3.

The waterproof connector according to the present invention and as embodied in FIGS. 1 to 4 further includes a suitable number of vent hole portions 6a formed through the portion of the packing press ring 6 abutted against the packing 5. The vent hole portions 6a provide compressed air relief during connection of the male and female connector housings. The air inside the connector housings 1 and 3 compresses when they are fitted together. The compressed air discharges to the exterior through a gap between an inner peripheral surface of the hood portion 3a and the packing press ring 6, as indicated by arrows A in FIG. 2. If the compressed air produces a large resistance during the fitting of the connector housings 1 and 3, the connection can be performed more rapidly and without as much fitting force as compared to conventional electrical connectors.

When the male and female connector housings 1 and 3 go from a non-fitted condition (FIG. 1) to a completely-fitted condition (FIG. 2), the connection produces an impingement sound or a touch feeling. As the compressive force is less than in conventional connectors, the impingement sound or touch feeling is not weakened. Thus, whether or not the connector housings 1 and 3 are completely connected is more easily detected. Upon the application of a fitting force either by the tightening force of a bolt or by the pivotal movement of a lever R as shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, if the connector housings 1 and 3 do not produce an impingement sound, they are insufficiently connected and in the non-fitted condition. Therefore, during assembly and connection, the operator more easily and confidently knows whether or not the male and female connector housings 1 and 3 are fitted together. Higher reliability of the connection is achieved.

In summary and as described hereinabove, in the waterproof electrical connector according to the present invention, when the pair of connector housings are fitted together, the air within the pair of connector housings is discharged to the exterior. The air exits through the vent hole portions and along the inner periphery of the hood portion. The vent hole portions are formed in the portion of the packing press ring abutted against the packing. The exiting of the air lessens the compressive force and resistance supplied when connecting the male and female connector housings. Thereby, when the connector housings are fitted together, an impingement sound or a touch feeling is strongly produced. The operator easily and positively detects whether the pair of connector housings are in the fitted condition or the non-fitted condition.

The foregoing description of the preferred embodiment of the invention has been presented for purposes or illustration and description. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed, and modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teachings or may be required from practice of the invention. The embodiment was chosen and described in order to explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to enable one skilled in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. It is intended that the scope of the invention be defined by the claims appended hereto, and their equivalents.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5334039 *Jul 31, 1992Aug 2, 1994Yazaki Corp.Waterproof connector housing and method of producing the same
US5336102 *Jun 7, 1993Aug 9, 1994Ford Motor CompanyConnector interface seal
US5356304 *Sep 27, 1993Oct 18, 1994Molex IncorporatedSealed connector
JPH0249657A * Title not available
JPS5546827A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5823808 *Aug 20, 1996Oct 20, 1998Chrysler CorporationCam lever operated connector
US6203355Mar 31, 1999Mar 20, 2001Daimlerchrysler CorporationUniversal charge port connector for electric vehicles
US6225153Mar 24, 1999May 1, 2001Daimlerchrysler CorporationUniversal charge port connector for electric vehicles
US6371768Mar 31, 1999Apr 16, 2002Daimlerchrysler CorporationUniversal charge port connector for electric vehicles
US7541135Oct 9, 2007Jun 2, 2009Fci Americas Technology, Inc.Power contact having conductive plates with curved portions contact beams and board tails
US7607927 *Apr 9, 2008Oct 27, 2009Hyundai Motor CompanyWaterproof connector
US7690937Jun 16, 2008Apr 6, 2010Fci Americas Technology, Inc.Electrical power contacts and connectors comprising same
US7985104 *Jul 1, 2008Jul 26, 2011Hirschmann Automotive GmbhShield sleeve for a plug connector
US8187017Nov 2, 2011May 29, 2012Fci Americas Technology LlcElectrical power contacts and connectors comprising same
US8251734 *Jun 3, 2011Aug 28, 2012Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki SeisakushoLocking device for power feeding plug
US8366466 *Aug 30, 2011Feb 5, 2013Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.Connector
US20110300736 *Jun 3, 2011Dec 8, 2011Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki SeisakushoLocking device for power feeding plug
US20120094523 *Aug 30, 2011Apr 19, 2012Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Ltd.Connector
USRE44556Dec 22, 2008Oct 22, 2013Fci Americas Technology LlcElectrical power connector
WO2000010230A1 *Aug 13, 1999Feb 24, 2000Instance MichaelSealed electrical connector with valve means
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/205, 439/271
International ClassificationH01R13/641, H01R13/52, H01R13/629
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/5221, H01R13/62938, H01R13/641
European ClassificationH01R13/52P1, H01R13/641, H01R13/629L1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 29, 2004FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20040430
Apr 30, 2004LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Nov 20, 2003REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Nov 19, 2003REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Oct 18, 1999FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jul 11, 1994ASAssignment
Owner name: YAZAKI CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SHINCHI, AKIRA;REEL/FRAME:007081/0624
Effective date: 19940630